Foreign books translated into English

biodroid

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I have always been weary about books translated into English from other languages. I have avoided Cixin Liu and Andrzej Sapkowski and others I can't name right now because somehow in my mind the book might lose the spark, feeling, impact during translation. Kinda like getting lost in translation? I'm not saying that you have to read Polish and then read the English version to compare, that's why translations exist, but do you get emotional attachment to characters in these translations? Is the world building adequate, is the suspense or thrill still conveyed correctly? Let me know your thoughts fellow Chrons.

Cheerz \m/
 

Rodders

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I have read a couple of Russian translations (The Night Watch trilogy by Sergei Lukyanenko and Metro 2033/2034 by Dmitry Glukhovsky). I must say that I enjoyed them a lot, but could loose the thread from time to time.

I want to get the Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu.
 

farntfar

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I can see your point. It definitely depends on the translation.
It's even more true of poetry or songs where there is more likely to be the use of words with several meanings etc.
But maybe even an imperfect translation is better than no translation at all.

Think about it a bit more historically for a moment.
Would you really prefer not to have the Three Musketeers, Quasimodo or Dante's Inferno.
To have lost all of Jules Verne, Solzhenitsyn, Umberto Eco or even Homer's Iliad.
And dare I say it, the Bible (The King James version passed through Greek and Latin translations before getting to English.)


No I think it's worth the risk.
 

Vince W

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You have to ask yourself, is the story clear and is it enjoyable? If the answer to both of those is yes, then the translation is good. What more can you ask from a translation?
 

hitmouse

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Don't write off translated works.

The Cixin Liu translations are excellent. I have also read Stanislaw Lem's Pirx the Pilot in a very good English translation, and Michel Houellebecq's Atomised. Agree about the Carlos Luiz Zafron. Good translation is an art in itself e.g. Anthea Bell who translated Asterix into English.
 

Anthoney

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I wanted to like The Dark Paladin series by Vasily Mahanenko (Translated from Russian). It just seemed off to me. I powered through the first book book but just couldn't bring myself to read the next one. I have the Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski but I haven't jumped it because of my earlier experience. Maybe I try something by Cixin Liu to see if it clear the bad taste from The Dark Paladin.
 

M. Robert Gibson

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I enjoyed Arthur Waley's translation of Monkey by Wu Ch'Eng-En. Of course I don't know if it lost anything in translation, but I thought the characters were well drawn and the story compelling enough to warrant at least one reread.
 

picklematrix

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Metro 2033 had some clunky lines here and there, though a lot of people I know love the book. Some even read it due to playing the game.
 

biodroid

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Wow, thx guys for the great responses, I will definitely have a look in the future. When my dad was a kid (50 years ago) his neighbor was contracted to translate Louis L'Amour's books into Afrikaans in South Africa, it's a form of Dutch, since we had the Dutch colonize our country centuries ago.
 
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